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Vulnerable states qualify for special privileges

Assistance packages support lending rates

Graduation of least developed countries is no conspiracy by bigger and wealthier developed states to absolve them from helping countries that are in need of special assistance, says the United Nations UnderSecretary General Gyan Chandra Acharya (pictured). Agreeing that small island developing states (SIDS) which fall under the LDC classification have a special case because of the vulnerability of the environment they live in, reclassification though does not necessarily mean the loss of special privileges like lending concessionary rates and access to finance under the official development assistance (ODA). “Cape Verde is an example.

When they graduated in 2007, their ODA was about US$190m. Now in 2011 and 2012, they are still getting $300m in ODA. So it’s not reduced and there are no specific linkages between graduation and ODA reduction, absolutely no linkage.

There have been cases where they have been getting better access upon graduation,” says Under Secretary General Acharya. The UN senior official spoke to Islands Business magazine in the margins of the 3rd International Conference on SIDS that Samoa successfully hosted last month. He is also High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.

He’s originally from Nepal. Much discussion at the Samoa conference centred on LDC graduation. Samoa has already done the move and the focus now is on smaller economies like Tuvalu and most probably Kiribati as well.

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